9 July 2014
I was handcuffed and threatened, and I caught it all on video above. There is now a second video of the incident, filmed by a third party, below.
Across the road, on the south side of Wilshire, was a Palestine solidarity rally called for by a number of peace and justice groups to protest Israel’s rampage of lethal violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
I arrived directly to the pro-Israel counter-demonstration without first having been to the Palestine solidarity rally. I wanted to speak to people and record their opinions.
As I was arriving, I heard one participant say: “A good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” I approached him and asked him, “What could make all this stop?” He answered: “Eliminate Muslims” and launched into an anti-Muslim tirade.
Another person heard him and objected to his words, telling me, “That’s not true. Terrorists are the problem,” and “I have a lot of Palestinian friends.”
We were having a conversation when, without any warning, I was assaulted by LAPD officers. I was profiled: one officer asked, “Are you with the Palestine?”
In the video, the officers claim that I had disobeyed an order. This is untrue. I was assaulted and restrained without warning and when I asked the officers to stop assaulting me and let me go, they put handcuffs on me.
One officer can be heard on the video saying, “I know you are trying to fire everyone up.” This is also untrue – I was asking questions and listening to the answers.
I believe he may have said this because he suspected that my camera was still running. An officer also said that they were trying to “keep the peace” and “keep me safe,” all while physically assaulting me.
After the video cuts, the sergeant was called. I was questioned about my political beliefs and asked, “Which side are you on?”
I answered, “I am on the side of peace and justice.” The sergeant asked, “Which side is that?”
I responded, “Which side do you think it is?”
The sergeant said they would remove the handcuffs if I agreed to leave the scene and not come back.
In effect, I was forced to stop reporting and leave the scene or risk arrest. In order to avoid further violence and harassment I agreed and I was escorted across Wilshire Blvd. where I joined the Palestine solidarity rally, which appeared to have several hundred people, more than the dozens waving Israeli flags and chanting, “Who are we? Israel!”
This video shot by Scott Bixler shows the incident from another angle, showing that the LAPD assault and battery was entirely unprovoked.
In my book The Battle for Justice in Palestine, I write about the close cooperation between Israel and US big city police departments, including the LAPD.
In January, as Rania Khalek reported, LAPD top brass went on their most recent junket where they fell in love with Israeli drones.
I wonder if it is that cooperation that predisposes officers to see anyone suspected of being “with the Palestine” as a threat.
What is clear is that I was profiled and treated as a threat like so many Angelenos, particularly people of color.
LAPD Hiding Out?
Permalink Linda J replied on
I tried to find a telephone number to call them and complain but their website is so confusing I couldn't do it. I hope you sue their asses, Ali!
We were only just saying on
Permalink Cindy replied on
We were only just saying on the drive home from the demo how LAPD never protects us. We also joked that because they wouldnt let people use that cross walk and had to walk an extra block to cross the street, was it an admission by LAPD that zionist are indeed dangerous??
Solidarity and apologies
Permalink Christopher replied on
And that is what's called racial profiling by LAPD's finest. The racism of the US state is inextricably tied to the racism of apartheid Israel.
Isreal & American Police
Permalink Jerry Moe replied on
I just finished your latest book and your treatment at the hands of the LAPD could be predicted from your own research.
How pointlessly violent.
Permalink Angel Robin Fox replied on
Hoping you are feeling well. Such confrontations really have the power to shake one.
You realise of course there is another guy filming while you are being assaulted.
Permalink Candice replied on
They do not have the right to tell you where to stand, where to film, and whom to talk to. So glad you caught it on tape. American's need to know the truth and we are all being fed lies from the news and other sources of the events that happen in Israel. I am a Christian who is praying for you and your people.
"r u with the palestines?"
Permalink Anonymous replied on
"r u with the palestines?" haha
Permalink Jason replied on
LAPD COMPLAINT FORM
Permalink Bader Noaimi replied on
Thanks for sharing this story. I always like reading more about the ways US police treat political dissent.
I also think you misquoted one of the bystanders. The one in the lavender shirt that you attributed the quote "I have lots of Palestinians friends" to.
I watched that segment numerous times and he most definitely says "I have lots of MUSLIM friends".
I hope you can clarify this in the article text.
Permalink Jack replied on
If anyone has any doubt about this country turning into police state it is the time to wake up. "To protect" and "to serve" what a joke LAPD
Policy policy on hand cuffing
Permalink Bill Michtom replied on
is to do it as violently as possible thus forcing involuntary reactions that the cops then use as an excuse to claim the victim is being violent toward them.
Permalink Eric replied on
I hope you will sue the "nice and peaceful" cops.
Typical cop behaviour, not only in LA, unfortunately.
Bullshit. Sue them and file
Permalink Anonymous replied on
Bullshit. Sue them and file a major complaint. Take it as far as you can possibly go.
U.S. police depts trained by IDF
Permalink JayGoldenBeach replied on
U.S. police have been receiving "counter-terrorism" training (a/k/a protest busting) from IDF instructors as well as private Israeli security contractors, starting soon after 9/11 and is still ongoing. And they aren't learning krav maga; they are getting SWAT training, etc. This was started at the behest of Michael Chertoff - a dual U.S./Israel citizen - when he was head of DHS.
LAPD gives award to Arnon Milchan
Permalink IRmep replied on
http://www.irmep.org/prize4spi... rather says it all. When public attention started focusing on Arnon Milchan as an unindicted Israeli nuclear spy, the LAPD foundation arranged for the chief of police to give Milchan an award.
That's the magnitude of the corruption.
Facing racial profiling
Permalink Samir Twair replied on
I wonder if you have said to the cop that you are a journalist, would he behaved differently? Because that what you were doing and the cop should facilitate that for you. The press have the right to cross fire lines and report their stories.
This tape goes viral....
Permalink che handala replied on
You have far more control than i have even though i've been 'trained' by CPT in the ways and means of nonviolence and believe in them in my core. But it just get taxing does it not in your experience here? i love that question from the cop; 'Are you with the Palestinians?' They assaulted you and used battery on you illegally in a public place where you had the right to be and i hope you pursue the legal channels and get a long day in court for this. The irony,hypocrisy,illegality of this is so overwhelming. As to the first person you talk to said that "we want muslims dead" and then you are attacked by cops while you advocate peace is surreal...Hang in there Ali, we believe in peaceful coexistence too..
"this guy right here"
Permalink Tom Murphy replied on
You can hear someone tell the cop "this guy right here" (I am not sure who said it but it appears that the Israel supporter who is smirking and insisting that Muslims want "whoever is not Muslim, they want them dead" is the guy that walks over to the cops and makes a false report against you. Not sure but that is what it looks like happened.) I think an Israel supporter told the cops to go after you. BTW, please help promote my latest video, Americans need to know: "Media Bias for Israel Masks Israeli Aggression against Palestinians" LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
Breach of bond
Permalink ostensible bystander replied on
You can now make claims against the Sheriff's department, because his subordinates were insubordinate to the law, overstepped it, and they shall be punished.
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